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Nemezis - Nemezis CD (album) cover





3.77 | 32 ratings

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4 stars Poland keeps providing new prog acts especially in the new era , confirming their powerhouse status with stellar groups like Riverside, Satellite, Believe, Lizard, Quidam, Abraxas, Millenium, Albion and After (the latter sadly not yet on PA). Nemezis is another worthy addition to the prog team, a scintillating debut loaded with prime melodic jewels that feature veteran guitarist Marcin Kruczek. His fluid style has the classic touch a la Latimer/Hackett/Gilmour but with his own distinctive, almost edgier flair. The band members all apply themselves with judicious talent, great rhythm team (a common trait with Polish Prog) and seem to venerate the melancholic blues-ridden musical expanses that crave to propel wayward emotions to the forefront. This stunning debut institutes an immediate awesome display with the gut-wrenching opener "Without a Reason", full of spiraling guitar pyrotechnics and solid female and accentless vocals from Karolina Struzyczka , while keysman Krzysztof Lieparski daubs walls of synthesized coloring. "Unknown Tomorrow" keeps the sorrowful tempo aglow, Kruczek's axe slithering with genuine bravado, twisting agonizingly in the sonic gale as the heady vocals deliver a very "rock" and passionate message. A whooshing synth solo adds to the delight. Not exactly Gentle Giant mind you but Polish Prog has always been about exemplary instrumental playing and sticking to what the Poles do best = sad, mournful and ultimately highly satisfying progressive that some wish to call "neo". The comparisons are a lot closer to a more aggressive Floyd or Camel than any Genesis reference (of which there is frankly none) but they have a distinctive "bluesy" sound that suits them well. "With No Return" is another heartrending affair, replete of some past poignancy and pain, something that most music fans can certainly relate to. It's not about Tolkien, Galahad or the Gates of Delerium but about the miserable weakness of lost love, a subject that has inspired mankind diligently since the Garden of Eden. Fine depressing tune! "Somewhere In Time" is where the shift begins toward a perhaps brighter outlook (historically, the Poles never had it easy!), with bright arrangements that seek out sunnier dispositions, twanging guitars slashes and gently breezy vocals that is lush with contemplation, even tossing in a little oblique dissonance just for fun. When the solo suddenly uncoils, it's a classic ride up and down the fret board, groaning, sobbing, imploring, beseeching and yes, even howling, as only that blessed instrument can. Again,very nicely done. "A Moment in Life" is a shorter piece that is perhaps the most accessible (radio-friendly) track here, with a lustily obsessive vocal delivery that has almost Roxy-esque tendencies with a country/blues guitar display that is actually very refreshing. This is closer to classic rock as it gets and when the title track kicks in, the mood shifts back to dense progressive a la Polonaise, the guitar imitating the tragic violin ( a Mirek Gil specialty) and the background keys splashing playfully. The fast paced female vocals are abetted by some guest deep male voice (a la Yello) that adds another dimension altogether, the biting axe frolicking in derision . Again, this comes across as quite daring and original. And how do they end this sucker? A whopping 12 minute opus, judiciously entitled "Then End" that manages to encompass what Nemezis is all about. Polish prog bands seem to encourage the female vocalists (see Albion, early Quidam and now Nemezis) and give them the platform to go well beyond the boring Annie Haslam comparisons and forge their own style. I for one, intend fully to support that kind of initiative, as the female voice is aptly suited to the complexities of progressive, even in its simplest sub-genre. Karolina's deeply felt expression is truly memorable, with tacit maintenance from the male band mates, a showcase for a new talent to shine. Perfect, far from it but certainly a superbly solid album full of romantic material with some first-rate instrumental soloing. The next one just might be a killer. Thank you, windhawk ! 4 arch-rivals
tszirmay | 4/5 |


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